Weekly Big Ten Betting Report: Expert Predictions and Analysis
Wow. How was that for an opening college football weekend? Week 1 gave us a bit of everything, including last-minute heroics, major upsets and absolutely dominant performances by Heisman hopefuls. And I haven't even touched on the bad beats that bettors suffered at the hands of the Northwestern/Stanford and Oregon/Auburn game. If Week 2 is even half as good as Week 1, we're going to be extremely entertained.
I cannot fathom how one would continue to wager on the Saturday slate of football games after backing Northwestern plus the 6.5 points. They had the cover well in hand before a last-second sack-fumble was recovered in the endzone by Stanford for a touchdown with no time on the clock to push the spread to 10. If that was me, I would have shut it down for the night. Kind of similar to what Oregon did in the second half against Auburn and what Florida State did against Boise. Oregon had a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter before being outscored 21-0 over the final 20-odd minutes, blowing the outright win and the cover as four-point underdogs. Florida State managed to blow a 12-point halftime lead as seven-point favorites to Boise State, scoring a total of zero second-half points en route to a 36-31 loss. As for the Big Ten, everything went according to script except for Purdue losing outright at Nevada as 11-point favorites.
As has been the case for the last couple of years, I write this weekly piece to give bettors an in-depth look at the Big Ten conference. The Big Ten was arguably the most competitive conference from top to bottom last year and is in a good position to be one of the top conferences again this year. I will be breaking down every aspect of the upcoming Big Ten schedule and keep you in the loop with the specific team situations.
Big Ten Rundown: Week 1
There are 12 Big Ten teams in action in Week 2, with one all-Big Ten matchup taking place between Rutgers and Iowa. As would be expected, 11 of 12 Big Ten teams are favored over their respective opponent, except for Maryland, who is getting two points vs No. 22 Syracuse. With regards to the all-Big Ten matchup, Iowa currently sits as 9.5-point favorites. The rest of the Big Ten schedule looks like this: Army at No. 7 Michigan (-23), Cincinnati at No. 5 Ohio State (-16.5), Vanderbilt at Purdue (-8), Central Michigan at No. 19 Wisconsin (-35), No. 24 Nebraska (-4.5) at Colorado, Illinois (-20.5) at Connecticut, Eastern Illinois at Indiana (OFF), Western Michigan at No. 18 Michigan State (-16.5), Buffalo at No. 15 Penn State (-29.5) and Minnesota -3 at Fresno State.
Biggest Mismatch of Week 2
The title of biggest Week 2 mismatch goes to the game between Central Michigan and Wisconsin. The Badgers come into this game as 35-point favorites, which is about right considering how dominant their defense was against a better (than Central Michigan) South Florida team. The Badgers didn't miss a beat on offense, either, as Jonathan Taylor tallied 135 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries to go along with 48 yards receiving on two catches and two more touchdowns. A multifaceted offense and a versatile Heisman hopeful make the Badgers' offense very difficult to contain. And unfortunately for Central Michigan alumni, their team likely won't be the team who finds the magic formula. The Chipps' did win a good matchup with Albany in their season opener, where they doubled up the opponent's yardage despite losing four fumbles. If they can't clean up the turnover problem, this Badgers' defense is going to feast and set up the offense with short fields. The only worrisome tidbit about this game is that Wisconsin has four starters injured, one on offense in Logan Bruss (OL) and three on defense -- Chris Orr (LB), Izayah Green-May (LB) and Scott Nelson (S). If I was a betting man, and I am, I'd still lay the points with Wisconsin as we can see Wisconsin putting up 60 on the Chipps.
Biggest Game of Week 2
The biggest game of the week is happening in Boulder, Colorado, as the unranked Buffaloes host the No. 24 ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Cornhuskers are currently 4.5-point favorites. And if they are serious about having a great season and reaching the highly-coveted double-digit wins mark, this is a game where they are going to have to prove themselves. The Cornhuskers come into this game with revenge on their mind as they were embarrassed on home soil last year, 33-28. The Cornhuskers know they need to be 10 times better than they were last week as they allowed South Alabama to linger around before putting them away late. If they are allowing a team like South Alabama to score 24 points, what is a team as good as the Buffaloes capable of for an encore after they put up 52 points in their season-opening win against Colorado State.
While this game will not make or break either of these two team's seasons, the Cornhuskers still have plenty to prove to the football landscape as they are being talked about as potential sleepers to win the Big Ten West and challenge Ohio State or Michigan for the Big Ten title. The Buffaloes are can gain some serious momentum by pulling off the upset as they will move to 2-0 and likely 3-0 after beating Air Force next week before their opening Pac-12 conference game. If you enjoy plenty of points, this game is going to provide just that, and we don't see how a play on the "under" is a good idea.
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